Jan 31, 2009

Twelve Myths

photo by M. Vogt @ morguefile.com

12 Myths About Cohabitation

1. Everybody is doing it.
No, nearly half of all couples are not.

2. Living together is a step toward marriage.
No, it is a step toward breakup – either before or after the wedding.

3. We are in a committed relationship.
Untrue. The only truly committed relationship is marriage.

4. Living together is a trial marriage.
Actually, cohabitation is the worst possible preparation for a healthy marriage.
It increases the odds of divorce by 50 percent.

5. We can’t afford to move apart.
Singles can save just as much money by living with someone of the same gender.

6. We love each other, so it’s okay.
If you really loved each other, you would do what is best for each other and for the relationship – what is sanctioned by God and proven through the ages to be the safest, best, and most fulfilling way to love.

7. It can’t hurt anybody.
At least one partner is hurt if the relationship disintegrates, which it is likely to do.
Also, since cohabiters are as likely as married couples to have children, if the relationship ends, the children feel abandoned and experience significant trauma that can have lifetime effects.

8. A marriage license is just a piece of paper.
No, it represents a way of life, a state of being blessed by God and sanctioned by the church, government, and community. It affects every aspect of life, health, happiness, longevity, and sex. They’re all better with that “piece of paper.”

9. We’re getting married anyway.
Don’t be so sure. Half of couples living together do not marry – and those who do are much more likely to divorce. Even a month’s cohabitation damages the relationship.

10. What we do is no one’s business.
Cohabitation is everyone’s business. It threatens society morally and burdens it financially. Eight out of ten cohabiting relationships will fail.

11. The Bible doesn’t mention cohabitation.
Jesus confronted the woman at the well, saying, “You have had five husbands, and you are not even married to the man you are living with now” (John 4:18 NLT). It was a gentle rebuke, but she was convicted, telling others, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did” (John 4:29 NLT).

12. Cohabitation,marriage, and divorce are simply different lifestyle choices.
“This is the most powerful and dangerous myth,” write Linda Waite andMaggie Gallagher in The Case for Marriage. “Marriage is not only a private vow, it is a public act, a contract, taken in full public view, enforceable by law and in the equally powerful court of public opinion.”

From Mike & Harriet McManus, Living Together: Myths, Risks & Answers

Jan 23, 2009

photo by k.kiser @ morguefile.com

"In the end, we are the sum total of all our own choices. The decisions as to what I shall allow my mind, emotions, will and spirit to be exposed to rests with me. Whether or not my life shall be intractable or mellow under God's good hands in large part depends upon who I permit to beat a path through it."

W. Phillip Keller

-A Gardener Looks at the Fruit of the Spirit-

Jan 18, 2009

God's hearing of our prayers doth not depend upon sanctification, but upon Christ's intercession; not upon what we are in ourselves, but what' we are in the Lord Jesus; both our persons and our prayers are acceptable in the beloved [Eph 1.6].

It was a choice saying of Augustine, 'Every saint is God's temple, and he who carries his temple about him, may go to prayer when he pleaseth'.

"Prayer is nothing but the breathing that out before the Lord, that was first breathed into us by the Spirit of the Lord".

-Thomas Brooks-

Jan 14, 2009

Holiness or Hardness Toward God?

He . . . wondered that there was no intercessor . . . Isaiah 59:16

The reason many of us stop praying and become hard toward God is that we only have an emotional interest in prayer. It sounds good to say that we pray, and we read books on prayer which tell us that prayer is beneficial— that our minds are quieted and our souls are uplifted when we pray. But Isaiah implied in this verse that God is amazed at such thoughts about prayer.

Worship and intercession must go together; one is impossible without the other. Intercession means raising ourselves up to the point of getting the mind of Christ regarding the person for whom we are praying (see Philippians 2:5 ). Instead of worshiping God, we recite speeches to God about how prayer is supposed to work. Are we worshiping God or disputing Him when we say, "But God, I just don’t see how you are going to do this"? This is a sure sign that we are not worshiping. When we lose sight of God, we become hard and dogmatic. We throw our petitions at His throne and dictate to Him what we want Him to do. We don’t worship God, nor do we seek to conform our minds to the mind of Christ. And if we are hard toward God, we will become hard toward other people.

Are we worshiping God in a way that will raise us up to where we can take hold of Him, having such intimate contact with Him that we know His mind about the ones for whom we pray? Are we living in a holy relationship with God, or have we become hard and dogmatic?

Do you find yourself thinking that there is no one interceding properly? Then be that person yourself. Be a person who worships God and lives in a holy relationship with Him. Get involved in the real work of intercession, remembering that it truly is work - work that demands all your energy, but work which has no hidden pitfalls. Preaching the gospel has its share of pitfalls, but intercessory prayer has none whatsoever.
-Oswald Chambers- My Utmost for His Highest

Jan 12, 2009

Grace Bible Church is calling and encouraging all who attend our church and all who read this blog to join us in a special time of prayer this Friday, Jan. 16. The men of our congregation will meet at the church at 7:00pm that evening; those who can't attend are encouraged to pray through-out the day.

We will pray specifically about our nation and its gigantic needs. We will pray specifically for members of the Supreme Court, the president-elect and his cabinet, the Bush family, our senators and members of congress. We will pray about the threat of Islamic terrorism, liberalism, indifference, naivete, and intentional deceit in this wicked world. We will pray for a heartfelt, sincere, and effective response by God's people to all that is godly in our nation and in the world. And, we will pray until we are done.

We will also pray for the transition of government and the financial mess that looms large over our country and especially our state of Michigan. We will pray concerning the lack of Godly character in our leaders and the continuing attack on the sanctity of human life as evidenced in Washington, Lansing and pretty much, through-out our country. We will pray about the ascending rate of ungodliness; about apathy and indifference to all that truly matters in this life.

We will pray by name for the following:

President George Bush & Vice President Dick Cheney
President-Elect Barack Obama & Vice President-Elect Josephn Biden

The members of President Bush's cabinet:

Dept. of Agriculture: Ed Schafer
Dept. of Commerce: Carlos Gutierrez
Dept. of Defense: Robert M. Gates
Dept. of Education: Margaret Spellings
Dept. of Energy: Samuel W. Bodman
Dept. of Health & Human Services: Michael O. Leavitt
Dept. of Homeland Security: Michael Chertoff
Dept. of Housing & Urban Dev.: Steve Preston
Dept. of the Interior: Dirk Kempthorne
Dept. of Justice: Attorney General Michael Mukasey
Dept. of Labor: Elaine Chao
Dept. of State: Condoleezza Rice
Dept. of Transportation: Mary E. Peters
Dept. of the Treasury: Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
Dept. of Veteran's Affairs: Dr. James Peake

Office of Management & Budget: Jim Nussle
Environmental Protection Agency: Stephen Johnson
White House Chief of Staff: Joshua B. Bolten
United States Trade Representative: Ambassador Susan Schwab
Office of National Drug Control Policy: John Walters

The appointed members of President-Elect Barack Obama's cabinet:

Attorney General: Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Dept. of Agriculture: Tom Vilsack
Dept. of Commerce:
Dept. of Defense: Robert M. Gates
Dept. of Education: Arne Duncan
Dept. of Energy: Steven Chu
Dept. of Health & Human Services: Tom Daschle
Dept. of Homeland Security: Janet Napolitano
Dept. of Housing & Urban Dev.: Shaun Donovan
Dept. of Labor: Hilda Solis
Dept. of State: Hillary Rodham Clinton
Dept. of Interior: Ken Salazar
Dept. of Transportation: Ray LaHood
Dept. of Treasury: Timothy F. Geithner
Dept. of Veteran's Affairs: Eric F. Shinseki
Chief of Staff: Rahm Emanuel

National Security Advisor: James L. Jones
United Nations Ambassador: Susan E. Rice
White House Counsel: Gregory B. Craig
White House Press Secretary: Robert B. Gibbs

Justices of the Supreme Court:

John Roberts, Jr. Chief Justice
John Paul Stevens
Antonin Scalia
Anthony Kennedy
David Souter
Clarence Thomas
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Stephen Breyer
Samuel Alito, Jr.

U.S. Senate:

President Pro-Tempore: Robert Byrd
Majority Leader: Harry Reid
Democratic Whip: Richard Durbin
Minority Leader: Mitch McConnell
Republican Whip: Jon Kyl

Michigan Senators:

Carl Levin
Debbie Stabenow

U.S. House of Representatives:

Speaker of the House: Nancy Pelosi
Majority Leader: Steny Hoyer
House Republican Leader: John Boehner
House Majority Whip: Jim Clyburn
Republican Whip: Eric Cantor

Dave Camp, Michigan, 4th
John Conyers, Jr, Michigan, 14th
John D. Dingell, Michigan, 15th
Vernon J. Ehlers, Michigan, 3rd
Pete Hoekstra, Michigan, 2nd
Carolyn Kilpatrick, Michigan, 13th
Sander Levin, Michigan, 12th
Thaddeus McCotter, Michigan, 11th
Candice Miller, Michigan, 10th
Gary Peters, Michigan, 9th
Mike Rogers, Michigan, 8th
Mark Schauer, Michigan, 7th
Bart Stupak, Michigan, 1st
Fred Upton, Michigan, 6th

Michigan State Government:

Jennifer Granholm - Governor
John Cherry - Lt. Governor
Andy Dillon - Speaker of the House
Pam Byrnes - Speaker Pro Tempore
Kevin Eisenheimer - Majority Leader
Dave Hildenbrand - Minortity Leader

"If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, pray, seek My face and turn from their wicked ways I will hear them from heaven and heal their land"
2 Chronicles 7:14

"As we look at this country at the present time, we see a nation in moral and spiritual decline. Morally we have become bankrupt, as the barriers of decency have been swept away so that there are no restraints. Vulgarity and indecency are the norm. There is no limit to the obscenity shown on television. We are a sex saturated society in all that we see, hear and read; bribery and corruption have become a part of public life. We may not be attracted by such matter, but our children and grandchildren face growing up in a society which is falling apart."
Rev. Eric Royden, April, 2002

Will you join us in praying, not only on Friday, Jan. 16, but through-out the year for these needs? You can pick up a list of those we're praying for at Grace Bible Church; or, please feel free to copy this post and use it as a guide during your prayer time.

"We all have a voice. Some are bold and daring. Others thrive behind the scenes. And some prove that actions still speak louder than words. From Jan. 18 - 25, 2009, join millions of believers using their unique voices to support the Sanctity of Human Life."

You have a voice. Discover yours at http://www.beavoice.net/

(Information gleaned from Focus on the Family January 09 Bulletin)

Jan 11, 2009

"The test of a man's character is what it takes to stop him"
John MacArthur

Jan 5, 2009

"Grace remits sin and peace quiets the conscience. Sin and conscience torment us, but Christ has overcome these fiends now and forever. Only Christians possess this victorious knowledge given from above. These two terms, grace and peace, constitute Christianity. Grace involves the remission of sins, peace and a happy conscience. Sin is not canceled by lawful living, for no person is able to live up to the law…the fact is the more a person seeks credit for himself by his own efforts, the deeper he goes into debt. Nothing can take away sin except the grace of God. In actual living, however it is not so easy to persuade oneself that by grace alone, in opposition to every other means, we obtain the forgiveness of our sins and peace with God".

- Martin Luther -

Jan 1, 2009

Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth.
~Martin Luther

January Calendar

A look at our calendar this month...

Sunday, Jan. 4 - Communion Service

Wed., Jan. 7 - Bible Study & Prayer Time
Beginning at 6:15 - Kevin Godin continues the study of Ephesians

Tues., Jan. 13 - Elder's Meeting

Fri., Jan. 16 - A special evening of prayer for our country and its leaders

Looking ahead to February ...

Sunday, Feb. 15 - Annual Business Meeting following the morning service
The deadline to turn in Committee reports is Friday, Feb. 6

LaShawn Toma - Jan. 3
Harmony King - Jan. 6
Dean Royal - Jan. 8
Tom Gabbert - Jan. 10
Eric McKee - Jan. 12
Marissa McGlassion - Jan. 13
Joel Ashby - Jan. 13
Rachel Norman -Jan. 16
Tom Royal - Jan. 22
Don Bolton - Jan. 26

Happy Anniversary to

Wayne & Linda Sourbeck - Jan. 30

Nursery Schedule

Jan. 4 - Beth Godin
Jan. 11 - Nancy Connell
Jan. 18 - Kelly McKee
Jan. 25 - Rachel Norman

Feb. 1 - Harmony King
Feb. 8 - Karen Roelofs
Feb. 15 - Beth Godin
Feb. 22 - Nancy Connell